The Jim Bates Defense: Pass Wise, Run Foolish
Posted Sep. 16 at 11:52 PM
Two games into the NFL season, the Denver Broncos’ defense is ranked No. 1 against the pass. Most will chalk that up to the team’s outstanding pair of cornerbacks, Champ Bailey and Dre Bly, but history indicates that a healthy share of the credit should go to assistant head coach and defensive architect Jim Bates.
In each of Bates’ last three stops – Denver, Green Bay, Miami – his defenses have totally taken away opposing passing games, while simultaneously finishing near the bottom of the league against the run. That shift is glaring for the Broncos, who haven’t finished out of the top dozen against the run since 1999, but have ranked near the bottom of the league against the pass each of the past two years (in part because they’ve been so tough against the run). For the first time in a long time, then, it makes sense to bench your wideouts against the Broncos, but get your running backs into the lineup.
The passing and rushing defensive ranks of the last three defenses helmed by Bates, with and without him, are presented below.
Pre-Bates (2006): Pass: 21st, Run: 11th
With Bates (2007): Pass: 1st, Run: 27th
Green Bay Packers
Pre-Bates (2004): Pass: 25th, Run: 14th
With Bates (2005): Pass: 1st, Run: 23rd
Post Bates (2006): Pass: 17th, Run: 13th
With Bates (2004): Pass: 2nd, Run: 31st
Post Bates (2005): Pass: 20th, Run: 17th
Source: FANTASY FOOTBALL INDEX research
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